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ERP System Implementation Best Practices

As trusted experts with regard to successful implementations of integrated business software systems, Comgine offers a list of ERP System Implementation Best Practices for manufacturers, wholesale distributors and retailers to use as a guide. By reviewing the steps below, you can facilitate and streamline the process of implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system for your business.

ERP System Implementation Best Practices

 
1. Company Leaders Must Support ERP System Implementation It is always a good idea to confirm that the CEO, President, Owner as well as the CIO and CFO of your company are in agreement with regard to the consideration of an ERP implementation project. Having the support of the business leaders is critical, as your company’s leaders will have to commit to actively participating in the decisions regarding which business processes are deemed critical and must be features or functions in the ERP package. The business leaders will also have to work with you to establish the ERP project’s budget and timeframe. Also, the business leaders will need to be engaged in establishing how your company plans to measure the success with the ERP system implementation. Further, it is never a bad idea to involve your company’s department heads/executives that will use the software applications, as ERP implementation project team members.

2. Involve Company Executives in the ERP System Review and Implementation Process

You may want to consider having each executive, that is the head of an individual department within your company, responsible for measuring the business benefits relevant to their division’s ERP modules. For instance, you may want to encourage the department directors of accounting, sales, marketing, customer relationship, inventory/warehouse, human resources, and e-commerce, to be a part of your ERP implementation team. You may find it beneficial to encourage the department heads to create lists of the time-consuming processes they’d like to have automated within the new ERP system. As an ERP implementation involves much more than just your IT department, the executives within your business should be part of the team which will contribute to the overall success of the enterprise-wide software deployment.

3. Select the ERP Project Manager

It is always wise to decide upon who will be the lead ERP project manager. Often, this task is bestowed upon one employee within your company. The ERP project leader is typically responsible for:

  • researching ERP software solutions available on the market today
  • managing the ERP solution selection process
  • coordinating demos and consultations with ERP software vendors
  • leading a team of directors from each department of your company
  • scheduling meetings between the ERP software vendors and key users of the new business management software system

 

4. Create a Comprehensive List of the Critical Problems an ERP System will Solve for Your BusinessAs you may already know, ERP systems can eliminate numerous inefficient business issues caused by the lack of software integration such as: data entry redundancy; inaccurate reports; ineffective tracking of communications, documents, and items; non-existent business intelligence in real-time, non-existent audit trail and/or ineffective compliancy; non-existent enterprise-wide view of profit and loss, your current software does not detect/alert you to problems before they affect company’s performance; the current system does not help improve your end-to-end sales processes, lack of automation for processes like Month-End and Closing the Year, and so much more. Before researching enterprise applications, you may want to consider making a list of the specific business problems you’d like to solve with a new ERP business management software system. For instance, do you need to shorten product lead times? Would you like to improve communications with your leads, customers and suppliers? Are there industry regulations to which your company must adhere?

5. Estimate the Enterprise-wide Value of Implementing an ERP System With Metrics

In addition to the features ERP systems offer, you may want to review how the software will benefit your entire enterprise. You can estimate the value an integrated business management software can bring to your organization by determining which metrics will be evaluated.

6. Determine the Critical Modules, Features and Benefits an ERP System Must Offer for Optimal Efficiency

As some ERP software systems are sold by the module, it is a good idea to determine which ones will be critical for the most efficient operation of your entire organization. In addition, you will have to determine which features and functions of the business software will help your enterprise achieve greater efficiencies. For instance, if your organization has global operations, are there foreign currencies and languages that your ERP solution must support? If you operate multiple businesses, does the ERP system have multi-company capabilities built-in? Is the ERP software system built upon a flexible platform which will enable your company to incorporate the “next generation” of technology? Is the ERP system easy to customize? Does the ERP system automate numerous manual business processes? Can the ERP system alert you to problems before they affect company’s performance? Can the ERP system improve your end-to-end sales processes? Does the ERP system help to optimize customer relationships? Can the ERP system analyze inventory supply and demand for you?  Can the ERP system generate automated make or buy recommendations for you? Does the ERP system have a maximum number of users, or is the software constructed to adapt as your company grows? Does the ERP software system include online training?

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